New taping: Tank and the Bangas

photo by Alex Marks

Austin City Limits is happy to announce a final taping for our current Season 45.   Breakout New Orleans act Tank and The Bangas make their ACL debut on November 18.

“There’s no record quite like Green Balloon, and no band quite like Tank and The Bangas,” raves NPR Music. The New Orleans five-piece R&B, funk and hip-hop outfit, featuring vocalist Tank Ball, bassist Norman Spence, drummer Joshua Johnson, saxophonist Albert Allenback and keyboardist Merell Burkett is earning numerous shout-outs from national press: “There’s no leaving a Tank and the Bangas performance in a bad mood” (The New Yorker); “Lead singer Tank has an elastic, surprising voice that oozes energy, turning simple lyrics into full stories just with a twist of the syllables”  (Time Magazine). Simply put, Tank and The Bangas are a beacon of life. And it’s that life that you hear in their music. That’s what makes them one of the most thrilling, unpredictable and sonically diverse bands on the planet; a unit where jazz meets hip-hop, soul meets rock, and funk is the beating heart of everything they do. Their new album Green Balloon is their first release with major label Verve Forecast – a deal that came together after their standout live performance unanimously won NPR’s 2017 Tiny Desk Contest, beating out hundreds of other acts. That moment changed their lives, catapulting the hard-working band into the national spotlight.

Since 2017, the band has toured non-stop selling out venues both stateside and abroad including festival appearances at Coachella, Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Festival and more. They earned a spot Rolling Stone’s list of the “10 Artists You Need To Know,” who called them, “A secular church experience, with freewheeling improvisational chops and positive vibes.” “We’re really vibe-y as a band,” says the act who came together in 2011 at a NOLA open mic. They’d arrive at sessions with an idea of what they wanted, but it was never strict enough to derail them from jamming and going with the flow. It’s purely organic. “It’s a puzzle and everybody needs to be there to solve it,” says former slam poet and lead singer Tank Ball. They don’t connect with the idea of genre, which is thoroughly modern in itself. “Everything we’re influenced by we don’t have a problem putting on a record because we don’t feel like we’re stuck in one lane. When we’re creating, we are creating. We never say: that sounded too blues-y, that sounded too country, that’s too hip-hop. It’s just that’s what this feels like, so let’s push that feeling to its completion, make it feel good.” 

Despite their newfound global focus, Tank and The Bangas remain a New Orleans band at heart. ”You don’t need to do a certain type of music to be connected to New Orleans,” says Tank. “It’s in the culture, it’s in the people, it’s in the fact that we can all find so many common things in the streets.” New Orleans champions its own, which allowed Tank and The Bangas to grow their fanbase by word of mouth and community. “That’s more New Orleans than anything I’ve ever heard. The music in New Orleans isn’t technical, it’s not a bunch of fancy-ass notes. It’s felt and it’s very passionate. It’s real. That’s what people get to take home.” 

Want to be part of our audience? We will post information on how to get free passes about a week prior to the taping. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for notice of postings. The broadcast episode will air on PBS early next year as part of ACL’s milestone Season 45.

New tapings: The Raconteurs, Billie Eilish and Rosalía

photo by David James Swanson

Austin City Limits announces new tapings of our Season 45, featuring a trio of originals who are highlights of our namesake ACL Festival this year.  We’re thrilled to welcome back GRAMMY® Award-winning rockers The Raconteurs on Oct. 3, returning to our stage for the first time in over a decade, and two breakout artists making ACL debuts: groundbreaking Spanish singer/songwriter Rosalía on Oct. 8 and global pop-phenom Billie Eilish on Oct. 11. 

The Nashville-based Raconteurs—featuring Jack White and Brendan Benson as dual frontmen/guitarists/lead singers/songwriters, and ace rhythm section of Jack Lawrence on bass and Patrick Keeler on drums—return with their acclaimed third studio LP and first new album in more than a decade, HELP US STRANGER (Third Man Records).  The chart-topping album debuted at #1 on the SoundScan/Billboard 200 — the band’s first-ever #1 and their third trip to the top 10. Featuring a cadre of killer songs, HELP US STRANGER sees the mighty Raconteurs reassembled, stronger and even more vital than ever before as they continue to push rock ‘n’ roll forward into its future, bonding prodigious riffs, blues power, sinewy psychedelia, Detroit funk, and Nashville soul via Benson and White’s uncompromising songcraft and the band’s steadfast musical muscle. With HELP US STRANGER, The Raconteurs have returned right when they are needed most, unified and invigorated with boundless ambition, infinite energy and a collectivist spirit operating at the peak of its considerable powers, once again creating a sound and fury only possible when all four of its members come together. The band burst onto the scene in 2006 with their now-classic debut album, BROKEN BOY SOLDIERS, winning worldwide acclaim, Grammy® nominations for Best Rock Album and Best Rock Performance and a chart-topping smash single in “Steady, As She Goes,” followed by 2008’s Grammy®-winning CONSOLERS OF THE LONELYHELP US STRANGER is earning numerous shout-outs from national press: “The Raconteurs have made an album of what are, relatively, straight-up bangers…With tune after tune, this third Raconteurs outing is a blast” (The Guardian);  “HELP US STRANGER is Jack White and Brendan Benson’s love letter to classic rock” (Q); “the group’s richest batch of songs to date” (Spin).  Recorded at Third Man Studios in Nashville, TN, the record is proof positive a combo with chemistry like The Raconteurs has no rust to shake off. They are as scrappy, current, steadfast, and captivating as they were when they first joined forces, and their joy of creating together is satisfyingly palpable. Earning raves for their first live shows in eight years, the band return to our stage in the middle of an epic world tour, and we’re thrilled to welcome them back.

17-year-old Billie Eilish has fast become one of the biggest stars to emerge since the 2017 release of her debut single “ocean eyes,” and continues to shatter the ceiling of music with her genre-defying sound. Fast forward from her humble breakout, Billie’s record-breaking double platinum debut studio album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? debuted at #1 in the Billboard 200 in the U.S, as well as in the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and many more. It is now the biggest North American debut of the decade (male, female or group), shifting 313,000 units in the first week and has already hit Number 1 in the Billboard 200 album charts an additional two times since its release in March, earning Billie more than 17 billion combined streams worldwide to date.  The LA native recently topped the Billboard Hot 100 with her single “bad guy”, becoming the first number one artist born this millennium. Billie received nine 2019 MTV Video Music Awards nominations and won three including Best New Artist at this year’s VMAs. Billie is the October cover star of Elle, and recently graced the covers of Rolling Stone, Billboard and V Magazine’s 20th Anniversary issue. Earning raves for her powerful live performances with breakthrough slots at 2019’s biggest music festivals, including Coachella, Glastonbury and our upcoming namesake ACL Festival, Billie is currently on her sold-out headlining WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP WORLD TOUR and we are excited to welcome her to our stage in her ACL debut.

Catalonian singer Rosalía’s landmark album EL MAL QUERER was released in 2018 to immediate critical and commercial success. The album’s groundbreaking fusion of classic Flamenco with R&B and electronic beats, coupled with 26-year-old Rosalía’s nod to the visual arts, fashion and choreography was strongly embraced by fans across the globe. The music industry at large took note, with the album’s breakout single “Malamente” garnering six 2018 Latin Grammy nominations, and taking home awards for Best Alternative Song and Best Urban Fusion Performance2019 has seen the groundbreaking Spanish star continue her meteoric ascent to Global stardom with an appearance alongside James Blake on his single “Barefoot in the Park,” and three smash singles of her own with the recent double track “Milionària & “Dio$ No$ Libre Del Dinero,” “Aute Cuture” and her widely-acclaimed, and frequent ‘Song of the Summer’ pick “Con Altura” with Reggaeton superstar J Balvin and featuring El Guincho. The video for “Con Altura” recently earned two MTV Video Music Awards wins including Best Latin Video and is 2019’s most-watched video from a female lead artist (now over 800 million views), reaching #1 on YouTube’s Global music video chart.  An equal factor in Rosalía’s worldwide embrace is her unique and starmaking live performances on her sold out “El Mal Querer Tour,” and across 2019’s top Global festivals – including Coachella, Primavera Sound, Glastonbury, Lollapalooza and many more. The reaction to her live show was best summarized by the UK’s NME in a FIVE STAR live review of her Glastonbury set declaring: “Rosalia put on the show of a lifetime…If you haven’t listened to Rosalia—or seen her live – you need to. ASAP.”  We’re thrilled to welcome her to our stage in her ACL debut. 

Want to be part of our audience? We will post information on how to get free passes about a week before each taping. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for notice of postings. The broadcast episodes will air later this year as part of ACL’s upcoming milestone Season 45 which premieres October 5 on PBS.

New tapings: Black Pumas and Sharon Van Etten

photo by Greg Giannukos

Austin City Limits is happy to announce two more tapings for our standout Season 45. Austin progressive soul band Black Pumas come to the stage for the first time on August 28, while acclaimed singer/songwriter Sharon Van Etten makes her ACL debut on September 30.  

Eric Burton, a former L.A. street musician who used to busk for a living at the Santa Monica Pier, made his way to Austin in late 2015, setting up a busking spot at downtown’s 6th and Congress. In 2017, guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada, the Grammy-winning founder of Austin’s Latin-funk powerhouse Grupo Fantasma, had recorded some instrumentals in his Austin studio, and started looking around for a vocalist—he knew a lot of singers, but he wanted something different. A mutual friend mentioned Eric Burton to Quesada, saying that he was the best singer he had ever heard.  The two musicians connected, with Burton singing to one of Quesada’s tracks over the phone. The first day they got together in the studio, they recorded the dusty funk that would become the Black Pumas’ first two singles, “Black Moon Rising” and “Fire.” The results of that beginning can now be heard on their self-titled debut album. Burton’s taste, range, and experience proved to be exactly what Quesada was seeking. “We just take to the same kind of music,” says 28-year-old Burton. “I listen to East Coast hip-hop, old soul music, folk music. When Adrian sent me the songs, it was like I had already heard them before. We were on the same wavelength from the get-go.” Described as “Wu-Tang Clan meets James Brown” by KCRW, Black Pumas won Best New Band at the 2019 Austin Music Awards.  They locked down their reputation for thrilling live shows during a 2018 residency at the C-Boys venue in Austin that overnight became the hottest party in town.  The group’s buzzed-about 2019 South by Southwest appearance earned them numerous shout-outs from national press, with NPR hailing them “the breakout band of 2019” and Rolling Stone naming Black Pumas one of the festival’s best acts, saying “Few artists seem to tap the collective unease of the national moment quite like Austin’s Black Pumas…never missing a beat is the tireless, charismatic energy of singer Eric Burton.”  Austin-American Statesman raves “In an era of widespread despair, the band makes rock songs that feel like prayers.” 

photo by Ryan Pfluger

Sharon Van Etten’s fifth album, Remind Me Tomorrow, called her “most atmospheric, emotionally piercing album to date” (Pitchfork), comes four years after the acclaimed Are We There, and reckons with the life that gets lived when you put off the small and inevitable maintenance in favor of something more present. “I wrote this record while going to school, pregnant, and working on other music” says Van Etten. Throughout Remind Me Tomorrow, the singer-songwriter veers towards the driving, dark glimmer moods that have illuminated the edges of her music throughout her decade-long career and pursues them full force. With curling low vocals and brave intimacy, Remind Me Tomorrow is an ambitious album that provokes our most sensitive impulses: reckless affections, spirited nurturing, and tender courage. Rolling Stone raves the release “…ups her ambitions even further, pushing toward a grand, smoldering vision of pop.”  Recorded in Los Angeles, the songs on Remind Me Tomorrow have been transported from Van Etten’s original demos through producer John Congleton’s arrangement. Congleton (St. Vincent, David Byrne, Unknown Mortal Orchestra) helped flip the signature Sharon Van Etten ratio, making the album more energetic-upbeat than minimal-meditative. “I tracked two songs as a trial run with John,” she says. “I gave him Suicide, Portishead, and Nick Cave’s Skeleton Tree as references and he got excited. The songs are as resonating as ever, the themes are still an honest and subtle approach to love and longing, but Congleton has plucked out new idiosyncrasies from Van Etten’s sound. For Remind Me Tomorrow, Van Etten put down the guitar. The record shows this magnetism towards new instruments: piano keys that churn, deep drones, distinctive sharp drums. There are intense synths, a propulsive organ, a distorted harmonium.   The New York Times named the record’s first single “Comeback Kid” one of “The 25 Songs That Matter Right Now,” calling it “the song you want to raise up your fists and loosen your hips to.”

Van Etten is earning glowing reviews on her global tour, with high-profile slots at Glastonbury and Lollapalooza. NPR Music raves that her live show is “a grand and magnificent turning point for this talented performer and her band.”  We are thrilled to welcome Van Etten to our stage in her first-ever appearance.

Want to be part of our audience? We will post information on how to get free passes about a week before each taping. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for notice of postings. The broadcast episodes will air on PBS later this year as part of ACL’s upcoming milestone Season 45.

New tapings: Colter Wall and Cage The Elephant

photo by Little Jack Films

Austin City Limits is proud to announce two new tapings for our milestone Season 45. Canadian country singer Colter Wall makes his debut on August 30, while Kentucky modern-rock stars Cage The Elephant make their highly-anticipated ACL debut on September 27.  

After two years of nonstop touring, Colter Wall wanted to make an album about home. Drawing on the stories of his native Saskatchewan, the young songwriter’s corner of the world takes shape throughout his second full-length album, Songs of the Plains. Produced by GRAMMY® Award-winning Dave Cobb in Nashville’s Studio A, the project combines striking original folk songs, well-chosen outside cuts, and a couple of traditional songs that reflect his roots growing up in the small city of Swift Current. “One thing I’ve noticed over the last few years, in the United States and playing in Europe, is that people all over the world really don’t know much about Canada at all,” he says. “When you talk about Saskatchewan, people really have no idea. Part of it is because there are so few people there. It’s an empty place—it makes sense that people don’t know much about it. But that’s my home, so naturally I’m passionate about it. With this record, I really wanted people to look at our Western heritage and our culture.” “I went into the studio and knew exactly the story I wanted to tell,” Colter says of the release. “That made it easier on a sonic level and a musical level, to be able to tell Dave that it’s a record about my home. That changes it at the roots level because it’s like having a mission statement, saying, ‘All right, let’s make a Western album.’” Indeed, Wall captures the expansiveness of the Western Canadian plains by relying on minimal production and his resonant baritone, which he’s strengthened into a mighty instrument in its own right. It’s a deep and knowing voice you wouldn’t expect of a man who just turned 24 years old. The New Yorker declared, “Wall is among the most reflective young country singers of his generation… His ace in the hole is his showstopping voice: a resonant, husky baritone, wounded and vulnerable.” “Wall pushes in close against the untenanted space of the middle provinces, filling their geographic gaps with an intoxicating rasp,” notes Pitchfork. “He sings with a serrated edge, his voice digging crevices rich with heartbreak, homeland, and heritage.” Noisey calls Songs of the Plains “ a heartbroken triumph, a statement suggesting that all that’s missing is perhaps not forever lost.”

photo by Neil Krug

Currently on a national co-headlining tour with ACL veteran Beck, Cage The Elephant is one of rock’s biggest live acts, and the band makes their highly-anticipated ACL debut on the heels of their recently released fifth studio album Social Cues. Produced by John Hill (Santigold, Florence + The Machine, Portugal. The Man, tUnE-yArDs), Social Cues is the follow up to their 2015 GRAMMY®-winning Tell Me I’m Pretty for Best Rock Album.  The acclaimed Social Cues is garnering raves with Rolling Stone calling it “their best album yet” and The Chicago Sun-Times saying “the band has pushed their sonic boundaries further and created their most personal record to date.”  The majority of the material on Social Cues was written during the unraveling of frontman Matt Shultz’s marriage. In order to make sense of such a difficult experience, he explored the hidden recesses of his psyche, creating characters to tell different parts of his personal story. He explains, “when I’m creating, I try to put myself in a reactive state of improvisational thought. I let images just arise in my mind and wait for it to evoke an emotional response and then when it does, I know I’m on to something.” Deeply inspired by punk music, brothers Brad and Matt Shultz began playing music in their Bowling Green, KY high-school with fellow students Jared Champion and Daniel Tichenor. Shortly after forming the band, they made the bold move to London to launch their career. Their self-titled 2008 debut album generated international attention, catapulting them up the Billboard Alternative and Rock charts and achieving Platinum certification. Cage The Elephant has released three additional studio albums – 2011’s Thank You, Happy Birthday, the Gold-certified Melophobia in 2013 and 2015’s Tell Me I’m Pretty. They have had 7 Billboard #1 singles with 11 singles landing in the Billboard Top 10 and digitally have a combined 1.5 billion streams worldwide. Cage The Elephant is lead singer Matt Shultz, rhythm guitarist Brad Shultz, drummer Jared Champion, bassist Daniel Tichenor, lead guitarist Nick Bockrath and keyboardist Matthan Minster.  

Want to be part of our audience? We will post information on how to get free passes about a week before each taping. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for notice of postings. The broadcast episodes will air on PBS later this year as part of ACL’s upcoming milestone Season 45.

New tapings: Patty Griffin/Steve Earle & the Dukes/H.E.R./Vampire Weekend

photo by Michael Wilson

Austin City Limits is excited to announce four new tapings for our landmark Season 45. On July 2, we present a double shoot with a pair of veteran singer/songwriters with Texas roots and extraordinary range: Patty Griffin and Steve Earle & The Dukes. On July 8, we welcome remarkable Grammy®-winning singer, songwriter and guitarist H.E.R. On August 22, we welcome back Vampire Weekend for the indie rock titans’ second ACL taping.

On her sixth appearance on our stage, Patty Griffin is among the most consequential singer-songwriters of her generation, a quintessentially American artist whose wide-ranging canon incisively explores the intimate moments and universal emotions that bind us together. The Grammy®-winning Austinite’s recent, self-titled LP (her tenth studio album), represents an extraordinary new chapter for this incomparable artist and stands among the most deeply personal recordings of her storied two-decade career. The album – which follows 2015’s Grammy® Award-nominated Servant of Love – collects songs written during and in the aftermath of several years in which she battled – and ultimately defeated – cancer. Yet as always, like very few others, Griffin’s power lies in how, as music critic Holly Gleason observed, “her songs seem to freeze life and truth in amber.” It’s in how Griffin can express the strikingly intimate while never making it about herself, all wrapped in sparse arrangements that breathe an incomparable force and import into her songcraft. NPR raves, “One quality that’s distinguished Griffin’s body of work throughout her nearly quarter-century career is her gift for imagining the untamed forces of people’s inner lives.”  

photo by Tom Bejgrowicz

For his fifth performance on ACL, the legendary Steve Earle presents Guy, his acclaimed tribute to his songwriting mentor and ACL Hall of Fame legend Guy Clark. Earle first met Clark after hitchhiking from San Antonio to Nashville when he was 19, becoming the older songwriter’s bass player and maintaining a lifelong friendship after striking out on his own.  “No way I could get out of doing this record,” says Earle. “When I get to the other side, I didn’t want to run into Guy having made the TOWNES record and not one about him.”  “Guy wasn’t really a hard record to make,” Earle says. “When you’ve got a catalog like Guy’s and you’re only doing sixteen tracks, you know each one is going to be strong.” Earle and his five-piece band The Dukes take on Clark classics including “Desperados Waiting For a Train,” “LA Freeway,” “New Cut Road” and “Heartbroke” with a spirit of reverent glee and invention.  Earle’s raw, heartbreaking vocal on the sweet, sad “That Old Time Feeling” sounds close enough to the grave as to be a duet with his departed friend. Guy is a saga of friendship, its ups and downs, what endures. Like old friends, Guy is a diamond.

“The musical sensation H.E.R. is changing how we hear – and feel – music with her talent, vision and mystique,” hails Grammy.com and the forecast is bright for this young star with two 2019 Grammy® Award wins for Best R&B Album (H.E.R.) and Best R&B Performance (“Best Part” featuring Daniel Caesar). Elle magazine proclaims, “H.E.R. is more than a rising star – she’s a damn galaxy.” The 21-year-old is commanding stages on her own sold-out headlining tour, earning praise for live performances that not only showcase her honeyed vocals and self-penned lyrics, but also showcase her skills as a multi-talented musician playing keyboards, drum pad, acoustic and bass guitars.  With over two billion combined streams to date, the release of the breakthrough H.E.R. and the recent releases of I Used To Know Her: The Prelude and Part 2, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist H.E.R. firmly established herself as one of modern music’s most fascinating new voices. H.E.R. Vol. 1 peaked at #1 on the iTunes R&B/Soul Albums chart upon its release and H.E.R. Vol. 2 saw the same trajectory, resulting in two EPs within the Top 5 at the same time. Her latest release, I Used To Know Her: The Prelude, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart, while fan favorites “Focus,” and “Best Part” earned the #1 slot on the Billboard Adult R&B Songs Airplay chart and Urban Adult Contemporary chart, respectively. H.E.R. recently earned two 2018 Soul Train Music Awards for Album/Mixtape of the Year for H.E.R. and Best Collaboration Performance for “Best Part” feat. Daniel Caesar and captivated audiences with performances on the 2019 Grammy Awards, The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Late Late Show with James Corden,  and the 2018 BET Awards.

photo by Monika Mogi

Ending months of fevered anticipation punctuated by three brilliant double-A-side singles and a slew of over-the-top positive early reviews, Vampire Weekend’s long-awaited fourth album Father of the Bride was released this month, landing the #1 spot on the U.S. charts in its debut.  The rapturous reviews continue: GQ says “One of the most important bands of the 21st century…With Father of the Bride, their fourth album, the group has expanded itself and the conception of what a band can be”;  Stereogum hails Father of the Bride, “Quite possibly their magnum opus”; USA Today raves “Vampire Weekend returns as the best indie band of their generation.” The third Vampire Weekend album in a row to reach #1 on the Billboard 200, Father of the Bride’s first week tally of 138,000 is both the year’s biggest sales week for a rock act and the highest single week sales of the Grammy-winning band’s career. Vampire Weekend recently made their first television appearance in five years and kicked off their Father of the Bride North American Tour with sold-out dates throughout 2019.

Want to be part of our audience? We will post information on how to get free passes about a week before each taping. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for notice of postings. The broadcast episodes will air on PBS later this year as part of ACL’s upcoming milestone Season 45.

New tapings: Maggie Rogers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus

photo by Olivia Bee

ACL is thrilled to welcome three remarkable artists under the age of 25-years-old: acclaimed producer/songwriter/performer Maggie Rogers makes her ACL debut on June 21 and lauded indie singer/songwriter phenoms Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus join us for the first time on July 30 for a taping highlight—a one-of-a-kind co-headline evening with these two accomplished solo artists.

Rogers hits our stage in the middle of a sold-out tour in support of her debut album, Heard It In A Past Life (Capitol Records), which entered Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart at No. 1 and charted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The breakout debut has sold nearly 200,000 album adjusted units to date with cumulative streams across all tracks exceeding 400 million.  Her current single, “Light On,” topped Billboard’s Adult Alternative Songs chart for three consecutive weeks.  Tickets for Rogers’ upcoming October 19thand 20th ACL Live shows sold out immediately at on sale.   

Raised in rural Easton, Maryland, Rogers released her critically acclaimed debut EP, Now That The Light Is Fading in 2017 upon graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.   The 24-year-old released her recent debut LP Heard It In A Past Life to critical raves, with The New Yorker declaring, “Maggie Rogers is an artist of her time.”  The New York Times notes, “‘Heard It in a Past Life’ is a collection of buoyant electronic pop songs, but the lyrics are unmistakably the work of an introvert struggling to recalibrate.” Rolling Stone awarded the album four stars and hailed it as “a laser-focused statement with nary a wasted lyric or synth line.” NPR Music agrees, ’Heard It In A Past Life’ (is) smart sparkling pop.”  TIME notes, “The album confirms Rogers as a tender but powerful musical force, putting her in the company of a group of solo female artists claiming space outside of the typical machines of pop, country or R&B.”

2018 was a milestone year for Richmond, VA’s Lucy Dacus.  Her widely celebrated sophomore record, Historian, was met by a cavalcade of critical elation, with NPR, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, NBC News, Slate, The Atlantic, Billboard, Paste, Stereogum, and more choosing it as one of the year’s best albums. Dacus’ remarkable sense of melody and composition are the driving force throughout, giving Historian the immersive feel of an album made by an artist in full command of her powers. “This is the album I needed to make,” says Dacus, who views Historian as her definitive statement as a songwriter and musician. “Everything after this is a bonus.” She played revelatory sold-out shows at clubs and festivals alike, along with multiple high profile television appearances.  A glance at her worldwide touring schedule in 2019 shows little sign that Dacus is slowing down, and in fact, she will release a series of songs titled 2019 to celebrate.  Recorded in here-and-there studio spurts over the last two years, 2019 will be released later this year as a physical EP on Matador Records, and will be made up of originals and cover songs tied to specific holidays, each of which will drop around their respective date: Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day (and Taurus season!), Independence Day, Springsteen’s Birthday, Halloween, Christmas, and New Year’s.

Memphis native Julien Baker’s chilling solo debut, Sprained Ankle, was one of the most widely acclaimed works of 2015. The album, recorded by a then 18-year-old and her friend in only a few days, was a bleak yet hopeful, intimate document of staggering experiences and grace, centered entirely around Baker’s voice, guitar, and unblinking honesty. Sprained Ankle appeared on year-end lists everywhere from NPR Music to The AV Club to New York Magazine’s Vulture. With 2017’s Turn Out The Lights, Baker claimed a much bigger stage, but with the same core of breathtaking vulnerability and resilience. From its opening moments — when her chiming, evocative melody is accompanied by swells of strings — Turn Out The Lights throws open the doors to the world without sacrificing the intimacy that has become a hallmark of her songs. The album explores how people live and come to terms with their internal conflict, and the alternately shattering and redemptive ways these struggles play out in relationships. “Turn Out The Lights is beautifully crafted throughout,” noted Spin, “full of the kinds of songs that linger long after they’ve ended.” Under the Radar declared, “Baker is writing faultless songs that will always have a home in our hearts because finding comfort in even the saddest moments means we’re still feeling. And if we’re feeling, there’s hope for us yet.”  

In addition to their successful solo careers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus (along with Phoebe Bridgers), comprise the indie rock supergroup boygenius, whose 2018 EP landed on the year-end best-of lists of Newsweek, The New Yorker, Esquire, The New York Times and more, with Pitchfork raving “(boygenius) sing like hell together in lung-shattering harmony.”

Want to be part of our audience? We will post information on how to get free passes a week before the taping. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for notice of postings. The broadcast episodes will air on PBS later this year as part of ACL’s upcoming milestone Season 45.

New taping: Mitski

photo by Bao Ngo

Austin City Limits is thrilled to announce the debut taping of acclaimed indie songwriter and performer Mitski, who will join us on June 4, 2019.

Mitski Miyawaki, “one of the most interesting songwriters of her generation” (Paste Magazine), achieved breakout success with 2016’s critically-acclaimed Puberty 2, and soon after circled the globe as a headliner and as an opener for both The Pixies and Lorde. She was hailed as the new vanguard of indie rock, the one who would save the genre from the white dudes who’ve historically dominated it.  Her carefully crafted songs have often been portrayed as emotionally raw, overflowing confessionals from a fevered chosen girl, but on her stunning fifth album, Be The Cowboy, Mitski introduced a persona who had been teased but never so fully present until now—a woman in control.  Recorded with her long-time producer Patrick Hyland, the album is not a departure so much as an evolution from previous albums. The title “is a kind of joke,” Mitski says. “There was this artist I really loved who used to have such a cowboy swagger. They were so electric live. With a lot of the romantic infatuations I’ve had, when I look back, I wonder, Did I want them or did I want to be them? Did I love them or did I want to absorb whatever power they had? I decided I could just be my own cowboy.” There is plenty of buoyant swagger to the album, but just as much interrogation into self-mythology.  

Be the Cowboy has earned widespread acclaim, topping critics 2018 year-end best lists. It was named the #1 album of 2018 by the likes of Pitchfork, New York Magazine, ESQUIRE, Consequence of Sound, and more, and  #2 by NPR Music, The New York Times (Jon Pareles),  and SPIN. Pitchfork proclaimed it “Mitski’s most triumphant record to date, a refining of her many strengths, splashed across the largest canvas her arms can carry.”  The New York Times raved: “[Mitski] has grown ever bolder musically, moving well beyond the confines of indie rock and chamber pop to try synthesizers, disco beats, country and more, while savoring the sweep of her voice…On this album, even more than she has before, Mitski makes the music her partner.”  “An album defined by impeccable construction and open defiance of the confessional mode,” noted NPR.

Want to be part of our audience? We will post information on how to get free passes about a week before each taping. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for notice of postings. The broadcast episode will air on PBS later this year as part of ACL’s upcoming milestone Season 45.

New tapings: Kane Brown, Gary Clark Jr., the Revivalists and Rainbow Kitten Surprise

photo by Joseph Llanes

Austin City Limits is elated to announce the first tapings of our new Season 45: rising country star Kane Brown on March 3, Austin’s favorite son, Gary Clark Jr., on March 5, New Orleans rock band The Revivalists on April 9 and North Carolina alternative rockers Rainbow Kitten Surprise on May 6.

Hailed by the New York Times as “one of Nashville’s most promising young stars and also one of its most flexible,” three-time American Music Award-winner Kane Brown earned accolades throughout a milestone 2018, including his selection by the Associated Press as one of 2018’s Breakthrough Entertainers of the Year, and landed a No. 1 album with his sophomore release, Experiment. With that chart-topping debut, the Georgia native became the only male country artist in more than twenty-four years to debut at the top of the Billboard 200, and one of only three country artists to top the Billboard 200 chart in all of 2018. He first made history by becoming the first-ever artist to top all five Billboard Country charts with his 2016 breakthrough self-titled debut.  Brown recently topped the airplay charts with his third consecutive No. 1 single at country radio, “Lose It,” following chart-topping hits “What Ifs” and “Heaven.” His boundary-pushing musical style, undeniable fan connection, and trailblazing path have earned him accolades as as the “the future of country music” (Billboard).  ‘I’m just a guy who wants to make people realize you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover,” says Brown.  “I’m just somebody who’s wanting, no matter what race you are, if you like country music, if you want to be in country music, then you can be. Just look at me, and come on.”

photo by Frank Maddocks

Grammy Award-winning Gary Clark Jr. hits the ACL stage for his third headliner show, on the heels of the release of his highly-anticipated This Land, his third studio album for Warner Bros. Records, out February 22.  The charged songs on This Land offer a rich window into the afro-cosmic musical soul of Clark, with themes that reflect introspective intimacy and unapologetic cultural consciousness. The sonic canvas of his rhythms, beats, melodies and ever-present guitar virtuosity on this album are his most ambitious work to date.  Rarely has an artist alchemized the sounds of the great African-American music forms into one genre-defying statement of unique power, craft and social significance, as Clark has done. As Clark himself puts it: “This album was meant to sound like D’Angelo, Parliament Funkadelic and Cream. Someone asked me why I made such an expansive album. I said, if I didn’t get it out of me, I was going to explode. It’s all just soul music.”  In a relatively short period of time, Clark has made an indelible mark for himself in the music world. He has been called “the chosen one” by Rolling Stone, and “the future of music” by President Barack Obama.  Clark is a rare artist, a genre-bender who transcends sound, style, race, gender, and age; his prowess has been witnessed on the world stage from Bonnaroo to Jay-Z’s Made In America, to Coachella, to the Roots Picnic, to Glastonbury, and many more.  We’re thrilled to welcome this hometown hero back to the ACL stage.

photo by Zackery Michael

We also welcome, for the first time, chart-topping rock band The Revivalists. On their fourth studio album Take Good Care (Loma Vista Recordings), the New Orleans rising stars deliver a bevy of anthems marked by moments of sonic complexity, celebration, and catharsis, chronicling an unbelievable ride that unassumingly commenced in 2008 with hundreds of underground shows yearly. Ten years of tireless hard work would be unexpectedly revved up by the success of the platinum-selling number one smash “Wish I Knew You,” and like any enduring band worth its salt, the octet buckled down and turned up with an album chock full of tunes worthy of even greater success, such as the #1 Triple A and Top 5 Alternative single “All My Friends”and new hit single “Change.” The Revivalists – David Shaw [lead vocals, guitar], Zack Feinberg [guitar], Andrew Campanelli [drums], George Gekas [bass], Ed Williams [pedal steel guitar], Rob Ingraham [saxophone], Michael Girardot [keyboard, trumpet], and PJ Howard [drums, percussion]— have garnered more than 300 million total streams, have drawn praise from the likes of Rolling Stone, Billboard, Buzzfeed, Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, Alternative Press, Uproxx, Flaunt, Nylon, and more, and have performed on The Late Show with StephenColbert, Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!, Ellen, TODAY and Conan. They were nominated for a Billboard Music Award and two iHeartRadio Music Awards, were named Billboard’s Top New Rock Artist of 2017 and have three years of back-to-back sold out headline tours in their biggest venues to date. In the end, The Revivalists welcome listeners on this journey with them as they set out with a newfound depth and ambition. “We’re in this together,” says Shaw. “We love to take people on an emotional rollercoaster with us. That’s what this record is. It’s who we are. There’s some real magic in that.”

photo by Matthew Salacuse

Nearly every song from ACL first-timers Rainbow Kitten Surprise unfolds in a dizzying rush of feverish yet finespun lyrics that feel both intimate and mythic. Throughout their third album How To: Friend, Love, Freefall, the Boone, North Carolina five-piece sets those lyrics to a thrillingly unpredictable sound that transcends all genre convention, endlessly changing form to accommodate shifts in mood and spirit. But while Rainbow Kitten Surprise push into some complex emotional terrain, the band’s joyful vitality ultimately makes for an album that’s deeply cathartic and undeniably life-affirming. Produced by Grammy Award-winner Jay Joyce and recorded in Nashville, How To: Friend, Love, Freefall marks Rainbow Kitten Surprise’s debut release for Elektra Records. In creating the album, the band immersed themselves in a deliberate sonic exploration, infusing their music with the kinetic energy of discovery. In sculpting the inventive arrangements and textures, Rainbow Kitten Surprise embedded each track with indelible melody and chilling harmonies with a long-lingering power. The quintet moves gracefully through infinite sounds and tones: the energetic R&B of “Fever Pitch,” the haunting a cappella harmonies of “Pacific Love,” the full-throttle frenzy of “Matchbox,” the tender psychedelia of “Moody Orange,” the tumbling folk of “Painkillers.” In working through such a kaleidoscopic sonic palette, Rainbow Kitten Surprise show the sharp musicianship and powerful camaraderie they’ve developed since forming at Appalachian State University in 2013. It wasn’t long before they’d gained a devoted following – amassing over a million streams on each song from their self-released catalog – and word spread about their unforgettable live show: a blissed-out free-for-all that typically finds frontman Sam Melo jumping right into the audience, building an unbreakable connection with the crowd, as delivered during stand-out sets at major festivals like Bonnaroo, Firefly, Sasquatch, and Austin City Limits.

Want to be part of our audience? We will post information on how to get free passes about a week before each taping. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for notice of postings. The broadcast episodes will air on PBS later this year as part of ACL’s upcoming milestone Season 45.